The Ile-Epo Foodstuff Market in Agbado/ Oke-Odo Local Council Development Area, Abule Egba area of Lagos was demolished yesterday to pave way for a modern market befitting a mega city.
The demolition was carried out by the Agbado Oke-Odo LCDA, in conjunction with the developer, Total Value Integrated Limited. While armed personnel of the Lagos State Task Force on Environmental Sanitation supervised the demolition exercise in order to contain resistance from the traders who were left stranded.
Bulldozers were seen pulling down structures in the market at around 8.00am, while others used sledge hammers in demolishing the market.
Thousands of traders were seen frantically trying to evacuate their ware as the police gave them ample time to do so. Traders were seen running helter-skelter trying to salvage their goods. Many packed their ware on the median and roads, causing traffic gridlock.
A trader, who simply identified himself as Zakariya lamented that he did not know where to go after his shop had been demolished, but admitted that the traders were given notices to vacate the market.
Mrs.Augustina Egbuonu, 68, who claimed to be the Financial Secretary of the Ile-Epo Market Association, said she had been in the market for 20 years and had invested N18 million in the market, she lamented that her investment had gone with the demolition.
But the Managing Director, Total Value Integrated Limited, Chris Onyekachi said the traders were giving 18 months’ notice to vacate the market for redevelopment, but that while some had left the market, others refused to do so.